|MadSci Network: Genetics|
Why Was Mendel Playing With Peas? First as far as Mendel's BIG IDEA, why don't you look that up yourself..... there are many great sites that you can probably find now that you are spelling Gregor's last name as MEndel instead of Mandel. Here are some good sites to get you started http://anthro.palomar.edu/m endel/mendel_1.htm http://www.netspace.org/MendelWeb/ Now, second, why just peas? Several reasons, but I suspect a large reason was that because Gregor Mendel was a German Monk in 1865, and the organisms he could easily get that could be easily manipulated, and show lots of results in a realtively short period of time, limited his choices. Being a monk, I have a feeling, he felt more comfortable messing with the mating habits of plants rather than animals. And peas have a nice short growing season. And he also wanted a system that had a small number of variables. Peas plants can be big or small, the seeds can be green or yellow, smooth or wrinkly. Lots of characteristics that have only two choices. Whereas animals have lots of choices for their characteristics. Like dogs for instance, there are big, medium, small, brown, yellow, red, spotted, striped and so on. And peas, were a better choice than other plants becuase they have offspring that are nice BIG seeds, and so he could check their chactersitics easily. And the final reason was that nobody had done this work before, so he had to start somewhere. Hope this helps, Greta
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